An ode to the ephemeral nature of spring, this paleo vegan ice cream cake packs a wallop of intense berry flavors. The creamy, dreamy ice cream filling is made from cashews and banana blended with fresh berries. No worries if you are lacking fresh berries, frozen work wonderfully as well.
Paleo Berry Ice Cream Cake [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Ice Cream Cake:
- 1 cup cashews (soaked 8 hours in water or overnight)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 banana
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup blackberries, if frozen thawed
- 1 cup strawberries, if frozen thawed
- 3/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas), well reduced (see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon Cointreau liquor
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the Chocolate Almond Crust:
- 5 dates
- 2 tablespoons almonds
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/2 tablespoon cocoa nibs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
- Fresh berries, for garnish
- 8 fresh strawberries for garnish optional
- Soak your cashew in water for at least 8 hours. If you have never soaked cashews before you will think they have gone off because they get a bloated water-logged appearance. All is well. Continue.
- Place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a crumbly mass that holds together if you squeeze it in the palm of your hand.
- Press your dough along the bottom and a bit up the sides of your 8-inch springform pan. Press it well and good until you have a thin layer coating the bottom of your pan and rising up the sides as far as you want aesthetically. Place the springform pan with the crust in the freezer to chill while you make the fillings.
- In a food processor blend 1/2 cup of the cashews, 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, a small pinch of salt, 1/4 banana and 1 cup room temperature blackberries (plus any juice that leached out from defrosting) until smooth. Now strain the mixture if you don't want the tiny seeds from the blackberries.
- Rinse and dry your blender and add 1/2 cup of the cashews, 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, a small pinch of salt, 1/4 banana and 1 cup room temperature strawberries with any juice that leached out while defrosting until smooth. Now strain out the seeds if you prefer ice cream without seeds.
- Pour in your cooled aquafaba (that has been reduced on the stove to the consistency of egg whites) and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment and whip on high until stiff peaks form. This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Add the liquor or vanilla extract, if you prefer, and whip another minute. Slowly add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time to the whipping bowl. Whip at least 30 seconds between additions.
- Once all the sugar has been added beat 2 more minutes to breakdown the grains of sugar. You should have stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer.
- Separate your aquafaba into two large bowls. Into one bowl of whipped aquafaba very gently fold in the strawberry mixture. Into the other bowl fold the blackberry mixture.
- Scoop enough of the blackberry/aquafaba mixture into the chilled pan to fill halfway and gently smooth the top. Now scoop the strawberry/aquafaba layer on top and fill the pan the rest of the way. If you have extra berry aquafaba mixture then place it in a covered container and freeze until firm and you will have a little extra ice cream for sneaking. Cover the top of your cake pan with aluminum foil to avoid freezer burn. Place your ice cream cake in the freezer at least 12 hours.
- When the cake is ready, unmould it (un-springform it) and place it back in the freezer. Now slice your strawberries super thin. Take your cake out of the freezer and gently press the slices of strawberry around the edge of the cake in a pleasing design.
- Feel free to pop it back in the freezer at this point and leave it there till after dinner when you are ready to serve it.
If you are using aquafaba straight from a can just reduce it by 25 percent, about a 10-minute simmer on the stove.